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How long should you help your children financially?

(17 Posts)
Hildagard Fri 15-Nov-13 17:51:37

Our daughter and her husband work very hard but are not high earners, they have two children and are in rented accommodation v high rent.
They have been on council waiting list for 10 years but are not a priority because they are housed it is so frustrating for them to see others on benefits go up the list and get brand new houses. Our son in law's income fluctuating with the weather unfortunately. Does anyone know how to jump higher in the queue? We help them now and again but they are reluctant to ask but we hate to see them struggle, when we don't.

GadaboutGran Fri 15-Nov-13 17:59:49

I prefer to help them while they need it rather than leave it when we die - if you have enough to spare & if they are not offended (there are ways & means of offering financial support that don't offend.) But that only answers your question in the title - haven't a clue about jumping queues I'm afraid. They probably need to make a nuisance of themselves.

gracesmum Fri 15-Nov-13 18:12:13

I wonder if it depends on other calls on your income. I have a friend who remortgaged her house and bought a terraced house which she rents to her (single parent) daughter for a fair rent - basically enough to cover the mortgage and the daughter has responsibility for repairs as if it were her own house. She could afford to do that as things stood and I iknow that her daughter appreciates what her mother has done for her, but she couldn't afford to do it for more than one child or if she still had a mortgage on the house. I agree with GGG about help now not in your will but that depends on your own circumstances. Help with childcare can also ease the financial burden on young parents if you are fit enough and able to commit. "Free" babysitting so that they can get a break is also a great help as babysitters don't come cheap or you could help with some of the unforeseen expenses like when the washing machine conks out or a tumble dryer or freezer so that they can take advantage of special food offers.
As to the housing ladder, I am afriad I have no experience but knowing you are there in an emergency must be a comfort to them - the "bank of Mum and Dad" can make a big difference to feeling secure when those rainy days come!

bikergran Fri 15-Nov-13 18:21:05

hmm how long is a piece of string hmm

bikergran Fri 15-Nov-13 18:22:46

help both DD whenever I can and have even gone a bit too far when helping them and left ourselves stuck.. but would always help them our if it was desperate situation...not always with money but maybe food things for GS petrol etc etc .

tanith Fri 15-Nov-13 18:35:38

Waiting for council housing nowadays unless you have a disability or are homeless is a pretty endless task unless you are prepared to move to an area that doesn't have such a long list. Have they thought about moving area?
As for helping then I too would always help if I were able no matter how old my children were, and then of course there are the grandchildren who in my case are also struggling greatly in this climate of austerity.

glammanana Fri 15-Nov-13 18:41:52

I do think that maybe being available for that extra childcare would be a nice thing so they can have time to themselves even if it just a 2 for 1 ticket to the cinema mid-week or maybe treat them to a special supper for themselves by way of M&S dine in for two one night.
With regard to the housing list I would make sure they applied for everything they are interested in every week when the lists are available and then ring up to see if the properties are still available and get their name and circumstances known to the Council,sometimes when you see x amount of applicants some may just change their minds and refuse offers so if your DD tells them they are availble to view anything they may just touch lucky,my DD waited a long time and she agreed to view a property which was in dire need of work and did not present well but she could see beyond that and agreed to take it on,now 2 yrs later it is beautifully presented and a credit to her so keep trying and don't be put off.

Nelliemoser Fri 15-Nov-13 19:18:11

This info is given with the Proviso that I have no idea where in the country they live.
Can they not get any housing benefit to supplement their low income with regard to housing costs and could they actually find a less expensive place in the area?

To get Housing benefit the house should not be larger room number wise than what ever the council Housing Benefit regulations consider big enough with regard to the age and gender of the children.
Try your local authority housing benefit website or ring them.

And blame she who sold off the council houses.

janerowena Fri 15-Nov-13 21:05:44

I have heard lately that the best way is to have a mother in law whose best friend has a daughter who works in the council housing department...

Stansgran Fri 15-Nov-13 21:23:03

In our library they have a slide show of houses available . This is in Durham. I have been quite impressed with some. I always stop and have a look.

ginggran Fri 15-Nov-13 21:27:58

Very good Janerowena ... not what we know,but who we

FlicketyB Sat 16-Nov-13 07:08:19

It is nice balance, but I think help for children should be less when they are younger so that parental financial help is not seen as an alternative to standing on their own feet - there have been several threads on Gransnet started by parents who having showered their children with everything they wanted, buying cars, subsidising housing, childcare etc etc have ended up with lazy demanding adult children, whose love is based on the size of parental largesse.

However, once good habits are established, I do not think children are ever too old to be helped. My father gave me money when I was in my 60s. I didn't particularly need it but he had received an unexpected legacy so shared it round.

My rule is to be a refuge in a storm, but not provide an umbrella against every shower. I would consider Hildagard's daughter's circumstances as a 'storm'.

Kiora Sat 16-Nov-13 08:12:43

My problem is my daughter is always in a 'storm' I will try to keep it short. She ran off with an older man at 15 had a baby at 16 was bullied and manipulated, moved away from us, had another baby 5 years later. Came to her senses just after his birth but was to terrified to leave. We watched helplessly she diminished before our eyes until she got the courage to escape. Unfortunately he stanched the children. It took us over a year to get them back. In that time we spent thousands of pounds getting her set up with a home. (No home meant she wouldn't get the children) furnishing it to a reasonable standard. Food, petrol it all cost a fortune. We didn't begrudge it at all, what option did we have. While all this was going on a 'friend' was in the background helping her. Yep you guessed within 1month she and the children had moved in with him. 1 year later they married. I knew it would be a disaster and at one point I did interfere and beg her to not be hasty. To no avail. She's been married for 2+ years. For 18 months she's been miserable. She turned up on my door last week telling me she was leaving. Now I know some of you will think 'well you told her so let her get on with it' but both my husband and myself simply can't. Our reasoning is that at 15 she was too young to realise the implication of her actions. The second time she was so badly damaged that it was a case of ' a safe port in a storm' we have agreed to support her decision both emotionally and financially although not at the same level. We are simply not up to it. We have also implied that this must be the last time. We are not well off and I may retire soon on the state pension and a really small occupational one. So we won't have the means. I love her dearly and because we were once estranged because of her ex I don't think I could cope with even the thought of loosing her again. But I'm so exhausted by the drama and the worry of it all. I often think that on my death bed my last lucid thought will be of her. Phew glad i'v got that off my chest

Iam64 Sat 16-Nov-13 09:39:11

You aren't on your own Kiora - as previous threads confirm. You may have got it off your chest for now, but it won't go away ...

FlicketyB Sat 16-Nov-13 11:25:58

Kiora, what a terrible position you are in. Have you explained to your daughter your diminished circumstances this time round? Obviously I do not know the details of your problems but could you tie your help this time to her doing things on her own volition. For example; if you can sort your housing out, I will buy some bedding, or if you get a job/do a course I can look after the children after school?

It is so difficult when our children do things we know will be a disaster and then turn to us to sort them out when that happens. The irony is I am reading a book at the moment written in the 1880s, involving a young woman marrying a man that everybody knows is a rotter, even though she will not believe it - and the consequences. It is a problem every generation of parents face - and it will probably never change

Marelli Sat 16-Nov-13 17:38:10

Kiora, I've been there over and over again, and I really know where you're coming from. One of my DD's has had 'storm' after 'storm', as has my DS, although DS is doing fine now. I can understand your fear of estrangement, especially when your daughter is quite vulnerable. I've been estranged from my DD, and dreaded it happening again, and it did. It's terrible, and I can do nothing to make it any better, however hard I've tried.
If they hit rock bottom, we have to help them. It's what we do. Somehow there's always a way, even when things are tight - (been there and got the t-shirt for that as well)! flowers for you Kiora.

Hildagard Sun 17-Nov-13 21:28:28

Thank you all for your comments. It good (in a strange way|) that I now realise our situation is not unique